Google. The giant. The company that is in almost everything. How could one blog post of 1,000 words possibly encompass the mammoth that has its hands in just about everything? Well, simply put: it cannot. And that’s why I am not attempting to tackle the behemoth that is YouTube or the controversial mandatory Google+ accounts, never mind Gmail – even if I could pay homage to Clay Shirky and the reply all button. Today, I want to shed some light on a lesser-known project; one that really could shape the future. That project is “Made with Code.”
Made with Code
So, what is it? Easy: “Made with Code is an initiative to champion creativity, girls, and code, all at once. The movement is designed to do three things: To inspire girls by celebrating women and girls who are using code to do great things; to engage girls to try coding through introductory projects and resources; and to sustain their interest by creating alliances and community around girls and coding.”
So why am I writing about it? Well, over the summer someone posted a link to this cool project they were hosting. Sadly, this project is no longer an active offering, as I have no doubt many of you would like to cash in on this one – even if you aren’t a young girl learning to code. Made with Code hosted a promotion for a free 3D printed bracelet. It was a simple creation process. As outlined below in a similar project, the website instills knowledge of the building blocks of code – objects, shapes and values. Using a simple interactive UI, you could create a simple bracelet – mine is pictured below.
Now, with this in mind we can conclude two things: one, this is not exactly coding and two, I am not a young girl with little experience in coding. I’ve taken the introductory programming course, and I decided that was enough to list Visual Basic on my resume. I like to code. And I’m particularly interested in projects like these, as I really do think computer science is a powerful and poorly utilized tool. The website lists several variances of this same initiative such as Code.org.
Perhaps more importantly than me going outside of my demographic, we can see that this website is neither setting variables with distinct statements nor having complicated loops. No, the website uses something called “Blocky.” Blocky is a program developed by Google to convey core coding concepts in a “first step” manner. Things such as “variables, coordinates, statements, string and sequence” are visible in the available projects of varying difficulty.
So yes, this website is pretty cool. And there are some seriously awesome examples of the utilization of code on the website if you take some time and watch a video or two. So right about now you might be asking, so how does this affect social media? Why have you spent the last 500 words telling me, a college-educated student, about another Google side show?
First and foremost, this website acts as a way for similarly minded girls to connect. Bonding over these interests and shared building experiences is made possible through the community and online directory at Made with Code. On the very basic level of making relationships possible, this website fits the bill.
On a deeper level, this website is building for the future. 15 years from now, the social media landscape could be nearly unrecognizable from today. And for all we know, someone who really explored their passions on a website like this one could be response for it. Made with Code allows friends to create something together; moreover, it also helps to pave the way for an entirely refocused mindset for the next generation. I want to see how all these bits fit together in a brighter tomorrow. I want to see what people can possible come up with next. And with Google at the helm, and a truly strong pool of talent, the possibilities are near infinite.
Oh, and 3D printing is just really really cool.